Sunday, 13 July 2014

Science Fiction

Sometimes, inventions that are sent in to the military seem pretty impressive. Like this one!

"Comrade Lyadov proposes a super-speedy anti-tank rifle, where the propellant burns as fast as possible, and the bullet is propelled primarily through adiabatic expansion of gases. In order to achieve acceptable pressures, the inventor uses low propellant density. With heavy projectiles, the inventor hopes to maximize the Pcp/Pm ratio and achieve muzzle velocity of 3400 m/s.

In order to achieve a chamber large enough, which the inventor says will need to be bigger than the size of the rifled section of the gun, the inventor proposes a two-piece chamber. One of them is a regular chamber, another, connected to the first, is underneath the barrel. The propellant, as can be assumed from the proposal, all fits in the first chamber."

3400 m/s! Pretty impressive. Of course, there is always a catch.

"When evaluating comrade Litvinov's proposal, it must be noted that the aforementioned muzzle velocity (3400 m/s) was obtained after making critical mistakes in the calculations, which makes the ballistic portion of his project a sad misunderstanding."


  1. The Gulag Archipelago Part II by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn may shed some light on this idea sent to the Red Army. Often times a crafty Zek (Prisoner) would "invent" something useful to find better lodging or to possibly be assigned to a technical research camp/plant. The author of the book was assigned to help a charlatan develop radar absorbing panels for tanks and aircraft. The Zek had no understanding of higher math or physics.

    See Chapter 18: The Muses in the Gulag, some of the examples are hilarious in gogolesque manner.

  2. In the second excerpt: Litvinov > Lyadov


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